05 / 04 / 17

What is a Chargeback, and How to Prevent Them

Most merchants understand how important it is to accept credit and debit cards in today?s world. Not only does the average American carry less than $50 cash on a daily basis, but a study has shown that consumers spend 12-18% more when paying with credit cards over cash.

One downside to accepting credit and debits cards is chargebacks, which every merchant will likely experience at some point. Chargebacks can be a serious headache for any business, as they can be costly and could result in your account being cancelled and flagged as fraudulent.

What is a chargeback?

A chargeback occurs when a credit card holder files a complaint with their issuing bank regarding a fraudulent or suspicious charge on their statement. From there the bank investigates whether or not the charge was fraudulent. If the merchant can?t prove that the transaction was legitimate, the bank will take that amount from the merchant and charge and additional chargeback fee.

Merchants have the option to dispute the chargeback, but this can take anywhere from six weeks to six months to resolve. Disputing chargebacks can be a significant and unproductive use of time and resources, and if your business is hit with a lot of chargebacks, your account can be cancelled and flagged as fraudulent.

How to prevent chargebacks

Not only can chargebacks be costly for merchants, but dealing with them can be a huge waste of time and energy. It is best to try to prevent chargebacks altogether, if possible. Here are some ways that merchants can combat them:

  1. Use a recognizable name as your credit card descriptor. This will prevent customers from filing claims simply because they don?t recognize the name of your business on their credit card statement.
  2. If a customer is unhappy, offer a refund. This can help you avoid going through the process of a chargeback, which will most likely result in returning the money to the customer anyway.
  3. Make it easy for your customers to find information on your website, including clear descriptions and images of your products/services, your return and refund policy, and customer service contact information. That way, when customers are confused by a charge, they can reach out to investigate the claim. By being available to talk and resolve issues, chargebacks can be prevented.

Here at Aliant, we are proud to offer technology that supports credit, debit, electronic check, chip cards, and mobile wallet applications like Apple Pay and Google Wallet. To learn more, or to get started, contact us or call us at 888.638.6103.

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